Breastfeeding was always something I wanted to try. I told everyone I would try it, but to not to be surprised if I strictly pumped. I knew the advantages of breastfeeding and did not want to take that away from my baby, but I did not see myself as the type to be able to bare my breasts in public or in front of family members.
It was my Hang Up – Not My Fiancé’s
My concern stemmed from the fact that my breasts had always been a symbol of sexuality, and I’d never been around a woman who breastfed. It had nothing to do with my relationship – my fiancé was supportive either way, but really hoped I’d give breastfeeding a chance. It was I who struggled with breaking the lifelong misunderstanding that breasts are for sexual purposes. I felt weird about having a baby suck milk out of them.
Boobs Aren’t for Kids
The same lumps of fat and skin I used to garner many tips as a waitress, and free drinks as a bar star were going to nurture my baby? The same pieces of flesh and tissue I pierced while going through my rebellious stage at 17 would now be a source of soothing for this beautiful innocent baby???
What About the Reaction of Strangers?
Not only did I view them as sexual, I knew others have the same misconception that they are for arousal and serve zero purpose otherwise. So, I was anxious about people staring at my exposed breast, or giving me flack for breastfeeding in public. I was under the impression that breastfeeding was a hindrance to everyone else and would be extremely difficult to accomplish.
Then I Gave Birth
All the negative connotations changed the moment she was placed on my chest. The first thing I asked was “When do I get to nurse her? Do I do that right now?” I was immediately ready to give her everything I possibly could.
My ways of thinking about my body instantaneously changed. I was no longer concerned with the fantasy psyche of what a body is for and immediately aware of the reality of what my body was meant to do. Besides, after being completely exposed, naked in some terribly weird positions, ripped apart, with a doctor(s) all up in your business and an audience, privacy no longer exists.
My View on Breastfeeding Now
I was the naive woman who truly believed nothing would change when I became a mom. Am I ever glad everything has changed! I no longer view my breasts as solely sexual – in some instances they are, but for the most part, they are for my baby. At this point, I will quite literally whip my breasts out anywhere, especially if it will quiet a screaming baby. A screaming baby is definitely more of a hindrance than the flash of a nipple.